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Should You Develop For Android Or iOS First?

Developing an app is a path that many businesses are going down in today’s modern age. It brings with it some incredible opportunities to engage your user base, improve their experience with you and expand your offering. Nevertheless, it can be a time-consuming process. You need to make sure that the app you create is planned to be as effective as possible, from design to implementation.

There are two major players in the world of app development: Android and iOS. There isn’t a simple answer to the question – there are a lot of factors that will come into the decision.  


Your target market needs to be one of the first solid pieces of research you do in preparation for your app. You need to make sure the right people can find your app if they need it. Location should be your first consideration. Android is the most used OS in the world, but the concentrations of users are in Asia, Africa and South America. If you’re looking for the most used OS in the UK or US, it’s iOS. Therefore, you need to be considering if you want that worldwide appeal or a local approach. Additionally, if a tablet app is part of your strategy, you should be thinking strongly about iOS. Apple’s domination of the tablet market should be enough to know that this is the best place to build a successful app designed for tablets.

Platform Features

Though you might think that an app platform would have the same features for developers, there are some small but important differences that are important to consider. Android offers more developmental freedom, with free reign to the internal workings of the OS that allows you to apply more creativity to the end product. iOS only allows access to a certain amount of features, so advanced functionality can be difficult.

OS Release Cycles

In development, you need to be aware of when the platform releases an updated version. You’ll need to think about compatibility and how many people will be able to use the app you’re developing on their phone There are many outdated versions of Android still in use, with a surprisingly low percentage of people who are using an up-to-date OS. This could mean that more than 65% of worldwide users wouldn’t be able to use an app developed for the most recent version. Alternatively, Apple tends to be scheduled and strict about the version that their devices are on. There’s an almost mandatory update prompt that ensures that the vast majority of iPhone users are on the latest version, allowing you to focus on catering for the newer versions instead of worrying about an abandoned user base.

It’s not unusual to simply say ‘why not both’ when presented with this question. If you’re hoping for a wide reach and budget isn’t an issue, this is certainly an option. Nevertheless, for most projects, it’s a good idea to launch in the place your audience are first, and then consider expanding if you see a market on the other platform. Otherwise you’re likely to waste time and money on a platform that won’t work for you.


You should be carefully considering all of the above when making your decision. An app needs to be available where your audience is looking for it if there is any hope of success – nobody is getting a new phone purely to download an app they’ll find useful. They’ll simply search for your competitor.

Zinc have completed app development apps for both Android and iOS for clients who have faced this decision. With the expertise of our team and your own understanding of your market, the decision often becomes very clear. If you’re interested in learning more, talk to our tech team today.

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